Travel, Turkey, World Heritage Site
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World Heritage Site Tuesday: Ephesus

I am learning as I see more of the world how much I don’t know.

I have never heard of Ephesus before the second quarter of last year. Ancient Rome, yes. Athens, yes. Ephesus was an alien concept, and it blew my boyfriend and I away as our tour guide started walking us through the ancient ruins, and telling us the story of the site that doesn’t get as much credit as the Acropolis or Rome. Which also proved how much we know about history and the ancient wonders of the world, since we learned that one of them, the Temple of Artemis, is in Ephesus.

As we started the tour, what was most interesting is that the excavation isn’t done yet. Only about 15% is done, which means there is so much we have yet to learn about our history.

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Threatre.

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View from the top after exiting from the museum, where we saw an interesting glimpse of how the people of Ephesus lived inside their homes. The layouts of the homes provided clues to their lifestyles.

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The library, one of the most famous Ephesus ruins.

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Very cozy (?) toilets — and only men were allowed. Makes me glad to have been born thousands of years later.

Pottery, Lunch and Rugs.
After the tour, our guide asked us if we would like to pass by a place where they make pottery. We had time, so we said yes, and it turned out to be a great decision. They brought us to the back of the store where they had the kiln and showed us the men making the pottery, vases and all kinds of shapes. There was a man talking us through the process of how this was done. Then they brought us to a showroom where they displayed finished products, and they were all beautiful — you can see the love and authenticity in each and every one of them. If I could have carried one with me or ensured that one would have been safe in my luggage, I would have bought a vase. My boyfriend bough a violin keychain for his niece who plays.

Lunch was amazing — authentic local food in an understated restaurant, all fresh ingredients and simply prepared. I especially loved the vegetables and the rice dish.

After lunch we also had the privilege to experience seeing Turkish rugs being made. We saw actual silk worms producing the materials where they come from. We learned the difference between the number of weaves and what makes one rug more expensive than the other. They showed us different finished products, all impressive, and there was one particular one we called a magic rug, which turn completely different colors when flipped and turned another way. Though we have always known the concept of taking pride in what you do, that day, being with the people in the rug and pottery places reinforced this concept. We truly are blessed to have these unforgettable experiences that bring with them great lessons. We will also never look rugs and pottery the same way again.

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